- The Cope byline photo
Idaho's grand old company is sorely disappointed in Mr. Agee's performance. It seems that MK stock is now worth about 12 per peso and a goodly number of people who worked there in 1988 have moved laterally to positions in other giant corporations. Notably Circle K and Burger King.
As I write, MK's board of directors, which includes not one, but two former national security advisers—men who know men who know men who are not to be trifled with—is sequestered in a hotel in California, deciding the fate of Mr. Agee.
My purpose here is not to add to the Agees' troubles. I've lost a job myself and I know just how he feels. I didn't have a quad-rillion buck golden parachute to keep me in cigarettes and baked beans, so I don't know exactly how he feels, but nevertheless I am truly sympathetic.
My purpose here is to get his job.
From May 11, 1995, on the nature of the National Rifle Association:
A lot of well-intentioned men and women will be shocked to learn that Satan founded the NRA and still gets a cut of the membership fees and bumper sticker revenue. I sympathize with them. My father belongs to the NRA, has belonged for years and years, and he doesn't have even one Uzi or AK-47 assault rifle. He's never used a Teflon "cop-killer" bullet. And he's begun to wonder what kind of people he's been sending his money to. When he joined the NRA, he thought it was there to look out for the interests of sportsmen. He never thought the NRA would one day be defending the inherent right of disturbed, paranoid hillbillies to threaten everyone who isn't a disturbed, paranoid hillbilly.
From November 18, 1999, on the football season's start:
Dating back to when local BSU supporters started acting like there was some link between what happens on a football field and what happens in the minds of serious scholars, I've hated college football almost as much as I hate shameless self-promotion, banal hype and empty distraction—and believe me, that's saying something.
Before you start hooting "VANDAL FAN," let's get something straight. Just because I went to Idaho doesn't make me a Vandal fan. Oh sure, if they have to play the stupid game, and as long as one side has to win, I figure it might as well be Idaho. But that doesn't make me a Vandal fan. That merely makes me a "mildly interested alum with a few bucks on the game."
What's more, I'm every bit as disgusted with Idaho as I am with BSU for this conference-climbing competition they've both involved themselves in. You see, to a football hater, there is no such thing as more (or less) prestigious athletic conferences. There are only separate levels of self-delusion.
From Oct. 12, 2000, trying to explain Idaho's conservative leanings:
Flat out, I believe Idaho is so damned conservative because way too many Idahoans fear people of color. Black people ... brown people ... yellow people ... etc. But especially black people.
It's not just Idaho. I also believe the entire conservative surge of the last 30 years, culminating with the ascension of Ronald Reagan to the presidency and ending with Newt Gingrich slinking back to Georgia in shame, has at its heart a fear of everything about ethnics, from their advancement to their very presence.
I'm not the first to charge that Idaho has been conservatized in recent years by "white flight," but I may be the first to charge that Idaho has always been conservative, and that the state has always been a nesting grounds for those unable to cope with a diverse and divergent larger society. It's just that recently, the conservative bloc finally managed to define itself sharply enough the average hillbilly on the street could recognize himself in their coded rhetoric.
From October 19, 2000, on his anxiety over having his picture printed beside his column:
... My pictorial anxieties stem from less lurid paranoia. Aside from being an opinionizer who's written some of the meanest and nastiest things I could think of to write about local elected officials, I lead other lives. One cannot not live by being mean and nasty, alone. At least, not in Boise.
From January 11, 2001, on the Supreme Court decision granting the U.S. presidency to George W. Bush:
Here's the deal. We're gonna go ahead and pretend he's president. I know, it'll be like pretending you like your daughter's boyfriend, but what else can we do? The Supreme Court, under the guidance of Tony "Fixer" Scalia, made him president and president he'll be for a time. Two things you can't argue with—the Supreme Court and The Mob—and when they turn out to be one and the same ... yo, need I say more?
From November 10, 2004. On the re-election of George W. Bush:
If you had asked me 30 years ago—back when my hope outweighed my cynicism...when I believed most humans would choose enlightenment over ignorance—that by the new millenium, more Americans than not would no longer be able to distinguish between verifiable truth and even the most carefully woven web of lies, I would have refused to accept it.
Yet the proof is irrefutable.